Monday, November 19, 2007

QUESTIONS ANSWERED RE. STAMP CLASS PREPARATION IN PREVIOUS POST

First of all, thank you for all your comforting words in response to our family's loss of my Uncle Rene. I am continually amazed at the outpouring of kindness I receive from my readers and blogging/stampin' friends! God Bless You All !!!

WOW! My cup (and my inbox) runneth over! I've had an overwhelming response to my previous post where I showed how I prepare for my Stamp Classes. Instead of responding to each individual e-mail and questions in the comments, I'll answer them here. If you don't receive an e-mail response back from me right away, it's because there are so many of them to reply to! (I love it!)

How many projects do you offer at your classes and what do you charge? I normally offer five projects and charge $15.

Have you every done a Stamp A Stack class? I've never tried this style of class before, but may have to try it someday!

How many people attend your classes? The number varies. I am able to accommodate 16 guests at each session. I hold a morning session and an evening session in the same day. I normally have 5-10 class participants in the morning session, and 9-16 in the evening session.

Do you offer a class by mail option? As of now, no I don't. I don't even know if Stampin' Up! allows that ... I'll have to look into it. I did call Stampin' Up! last week to clarify some questions I had regarding the changes in the Angel Policy. I was told we cannot sell KITS online, but we CAN sell completely finished projects. When selling completely finished projects, we must be very careful about the wording ...... you can say, "This is a hand stamped card using Stampin' Up! products." ... you CAN'T say, "This is a Stampin' Up! card".

Why do you use baby wipes to clean stamps at your classes instead of Stampin' Mist Cleaner and Stampin' Scrub? I love to use the Stampin' Mist Cleaner and Stampin' Scrub when I stamp. The reason I use baby wipes for cleaning stamps at class is the cost. I am unable to purchase 8 Stampin' Scrubs and who knows how many Stampin' Mist Cleaner refills to accommodate that many people on a monthly basis. Baby wipes is definitely the most affordable option for my classes.

Do you recycle the clear plastic bags that each projects comes in? Yes, most definitely!

What are Stickles? Stickles is a non-SU product, and is similar to glitter glue, but specially made for paper crafting. They are acid free and non-toxic, non-settling, with an easy flow tip. I found them at my local scrapbook store.

How do you handle using non-SU products in your class? Anyone who has attended my classes or been in my craft room KNOWS that Stampin' Up! products are numero uno in my book! I don't own one single non-SU stamp, and own very few non-SU products. (OK ... I take that back ... I do own ONE non-SU stamp ... it has a clarinet on it ... my daughter plays the clarinet in the band, and needed it for a particular project)! From the looks of my November Stamp Class projects, I can see how one might think otherwise since I used a Cuttlebug Dry Embossed background on one card, and Stickles on two cards. It is rare that I use that many non-SU products at my classes. I think my customers would all agree that I am a total Stampin' Up! FREAK! Nothing can replace the quality of Stampin' Up! stamps and the coordinating color families! (Although I do wish Provo Craft would start paying me commission on the number of Cuttlebug machines and accessories I've sold for them! LOL!).

Connie asked for suggestions on getting people to come to her classes. I have been so incredibly fortunate in that department. I have the most wonderful group of friends that are the biggest cheerleaders anyone could ask for! They are constantly pumping up my business and bringing new people to me! (you know who you are ... THANK YOU!!!).

Here are few suggestions that work for me:

a) People love to receive handmade gifts and cards ... that is HUGE in getting people interested in stamping! Start giving your creations to people as gifts, i.e. kids' teachers, friends, family, etc. ... it's bound to stir up conversation!

b) Start a blog! ... when I meet someone who says they're interested in attending one of my classes, my blog is an excellent source for them! With a click of a button, they can see my artwork, my class projects and more! I've also had local people stumble across my blog who e-mail me to come to classes!

c) Don't be afraid to ask your current class participants to bring new friends to class ... offer them an incentive for doing so. I have some incentive stamps that I've packaged attractively. If someone brings a new person to class, they and the newbie each get a new stamp!

d) Get creative! My daughter's band had a fundraising dinner and auction the other night. Each year, I donate a collection of handstamped cards as an auction item. This year, I took it a step further and gave away a certificate for a free class, along with a catalog, mini catalog, and other brochures. I got two new customers from that! I also set out a stack of my business cards .... hopefully, someone unexpected will call !

Do weekends or weekdays work best for scheduling classes? That's the great thing about having your own Stampin' Up! business! YOU get to work that around YOUR schedule! I am not consistent with the scheduling of my classes, because no week, or day for that matter, is the same at the Riley house! When scheduling my classes, I first work around MY family's schedule. I recently added the morning session because I had several class participants express the desire for one. Normally, my classes are held on a weekday/night.

Do you send out flyers or e-mail with class information? Definitely e-mail ... it's FREE!

Are your class participants always the same ones, or are you always trying to get new people to come to your classes? BOTH. Like I said earlier, my "regulars" are my biggest cheerleaders! My business has grown because of them (Tammy, Norene, Paula, Leah, Sandy, Karen, .......)! My business only grows by adding new class participants. Not only that, but it is personally rewarding to see someone new fall in love with stamping!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh how I would love to attend your classes -- they look like fun!

Are you sure demos can't sell Kits? I feel like every demo blog I read, they are selling these kits!!!

Jennifer said...

Thank you, Nancy, for all the time and effort you put into posting this for us!!! You are incredibly organized and your customers are lucky to have you always teaching them something new!!! I appreciate all of the advice and tips you've given in these last two posts. You are an inspiration.

Dale Anne said...

I remember someone saying that at Convention they talked about

- Monthly "Stamps By Mail" Kits - This is to reach customers that have moved away or who I don't see regularly.

I didn't go to convention but all kinds of people now have these programs - I've seen them on blogs and SCS talking about them.